I have no evidence and nothing to link to…

July 9th, 2008

…but I just have to say that I was astonished by the bias I heard in two different stories from Milwaukee NPR station WUWM in the last two days.

The first was about how John McCain commanded a training squadron after his time as a prisoner of war.

All the interviewees in the story said glowing things about John McCain’s leadership, cialis generic sales but somehow the tone of the story implied that John McCain was not a good leader. For example, viagra ampoule the story ended talking about how the squadron fell apart after McCain left. (And the point wasn’t that he was such a great leader that his absence was felt, here it was more that he failed to prepare the squadron to go on without him.)

Then, today, I heard the end of a story about how Barack Obama worked briefly in the financial world. My sense from that story was that Obama was prepared to fix the economy because he was passingly familiar with financial markets almost twenty years ago.

Again, I can’t link to the stories and I understand that my own biases may be affecting the way I heard the framing, but my honest response after both stories was, “holy crap, that was propaganda” – a response I very, very rarely have listening to pure news on NPR.

Entry Filed under: Media

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. folkbum  |  July 9th, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Why don’t you have anything to link to? NPR program audio is archived and many stories are even transcribed on the major programs’ sites. (My pledge dollars at work.)

    It took me about four seconds at the npr site to find this, which is likely the McCain story you referenced.

  • 2. elliot  |  July 9th, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Thank you, Jay!

    And here’s the Obama story.

    (They were even linked!)

  • 3. charliesaurus  |  July 11th, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    I heard both stories and it’s even worse when you read the transcripts…

    Phrases like this to describe McCain…
    “It’s the only period in his life when McCain actually ran something bigger than a Senate office or a presidential campaign.”
    “Interviews with a half-dozen former subordinates suggest McCain ran his squadron with a clear goal” (Suggest? How about “Said”? And interview with half a dozen? They kept calling people hoping that someone would say something bad?)
    “McCain set an audacious goal of getting nearly all the planes flying again.” (Audacious? One of the definitions of this word is “an impudent lack of respect!”)
    “it’s harder to run a country than it is to charm a hangar full of sailors” OMG! Did they really just negate McCain’s achievements in this entire story with this one line? Really?!
    And – finally “Smith hints at both the power — and the limits — of McCain’s personality-driven leadership, when he says that six months after McCain gave up command, the squadron had fallen back into its old, average habits.” C’Mon! Isn’t it the respnsibility of the next leader? It’s like blaming Clinton for Bush Sr.’s decisions or Bush W. for Clinton’s decisions. C’mon!

  • 4. charliesaurus  |  July 11th, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Then – here’s some of the glowing language the reporter used for Obama…
    “Even in a company filled with smart people, Obama made an impression.” (Who determined that this company was filled with smart people? The reporter?)
    “But colleagues say he was mature beyond his years.” What? They didn’t suggest it?
    “researching and writing about hedges and forwards and currency fluctuations did give Obama at least a passing familiarity with the financial markets — and that knowledge is still evident today.” Yet – McCain’s years leading a “bunch of sailor” doesn’t count as being applicable experience for President. HUH?
    UGH, UGH, UGH.

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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